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I paid $20 for his prized agate

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This was a fun find. Local man in his 70s saw my ad for marbles wanted.

He only had about sixty marbles, commons from the 40s and 50s, with one old slag.

But he had a prized agate shooter he used to win the marble tournament at his elementary school in Montana.

I offered him $7 for just the shooter, but he balked and said that agate cost $5 in the 1950s.

Turns out his family bought the agate for his birthday from a local gem and rock store. He said the store made the agates on site. It was machine ground and slightly oblong, which he said helped him put English on it. His father was a billiards man who taught him about backspin. This man even had a small bag he made to hold his agates which you can see in the background.

I offered him $20 for the agate if he agreed to pose with it ready to shoot.

Turns out he also had double-jointed thumbs which no doubt helped his game, although he was modest about his skills.

This story made me wish I were retired so I could travel around the country collecting marble lore from the old timers that are still around.


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16 hours ago, marblenewbie said:

Fun Story!! Wish I could travel around the country like you said.  By the way where did you place your ad that brought a call?

Local Craigslist ads have gotten me some nice scores over the years.

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The story and history makes the marble so much more valuable.  I am sure it was not easy to let the birthday agate go to a new home after all those years. But it is nice to be able to choose the new home.  

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